Can Liverpool cope without Philippe Coutinho?

Brendan Rodgers claims Liverpool's balance has been disrupted after the Reds midfielder Philippe Coutinho picked up an injury during their 2-2 draw against Swansea City.

The Brazilian underwent shoulder surgery, which will keep him out of action until October. The former Swansea manager is hopeful that Coutinho could make a quick return as Liverpool eye to maintain their lead at the top.

The 21-year-old completed his move to Anfield in January from Inter Milan and has been instrumental in the second half of last season. Coutinho started in all four league games, which saw Liverpool sit on top of the Premier League table as they still remain unbeaten in the league.

Rodgers claims the midfielder was the link between Liverpool's midfielders and the attackers and his absence is a major blow for the Merseyside club.

"He's only just having it today so the timescale from the medics is obviously up to six weeks. We wouldn't anticipate any sooner than that. It's unfortunate for him because he's been in great form since he came here in January. When he went, we lost that connection between our midfield and the front line; it disrupted our balance a bit," he explained.

"Hopefully we'll get him back sooner rather than later and then he can come into the group again. It was one where it was more the fall than the challenge. The challenge was probably a bit clumsy but it was actually more the fall that did the damage," Liverpool manager added.

"In those scenarios the bone may be bruised but unfortunately for Philippe the bone came through the muscle. That's what the pain was and why the operation was needed. It's unfortunate because he was a really pivotal player for us in the game," Rodgers said.

Liverpool have been fielding Daniel Sturridge as the lone striker up front this season in the absence of Luis Suarez. The England international has cemented his place in the side after scoring in the Reds' four league games.

The Uruguayan international is one match away from completing his 10-match ban and will be eligible for the Capital One Cup tie against Manchester United. Suarez is expected to partner with Sturridge to lead Liverpool's attack, while summer signing Luis Alberto could fill in Coutinho's place in his absence.